Over the past 20 years, Gail has forged long-lasting relationships with her clients and real estate partners as a loan originator. She enjoys building trust and loyalty with them through listening to their situation/needs during the transaction and consulting/guiding them through the process. Gail communicates throughout all stages of the loan process via email/phone/text. Mrs. Stephens serves her community during the school year substitute teaching and serving as a math/Spanish tutor for Manatee and Sarasota counties. In addition, she is a tennis player all over southwest Florida in both singles and doubles. Her home court is Lakewood Ranch Country Club.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I grew up on Siesta Drive in Sarasota, and now live in Manatee county with my husband, our final child living at home, and five pets. Our three other adult children live on their own; one is a fine jeweler and also a loan officer; one is a Criminology major at USF and one is on a baseball scholarship at Georgia Tech.
Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
I still hold my Florida teaching certificate, and serve our community during the school year substitute teaching and serving as a math/Spanish tutor for Manatee and Sarasota counties. In addition, I am a tennis player all over southwest Florida in both singles and doubles. I taught high school Spanish and speak the language fluently. I love helping every single client with the largest purchase of their lives, and I am licensed to originate home loans in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
The Granary is the BEST, and the owners are amazing people. For evening dining, Fleming’s is my favorite place to celebrate milestones, or life events!
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
My family moved to Siesta Key from Pittsburgh when I was 4 years old. I have lived all over the country since then, and our youngest child has grown up here.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
There is no way to say just one person. My business has me meeting so many interesting people moving here from all over the world. So many people interest me; I adore hearing about their lives, background and stories.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Spain. I have been all over the world, but have yet to visit the country I have studied so much about and been wanting to visit since high school. It is at the top of my bucket list.
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
I enjoy war movies and period pieces. I loved the series “Vikings” on History Channel. I really do not watch television much, but that show grabbed my attention. LOVE IT!!!
Q: What advice would you give to people?
Expect Nothing. Blame Nobody. Do Something.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
I have already shared my Spain plans. I also want to visit several historical sites all over Europe like the coast of Normandy.
Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Always classical. I played the cello when I was younger and classical piano is a favorite since my only daughter is an amazing pianist; I need music and love all sorts of genres.
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
Guaranteed Rate Affinity; Although it no longer exists, Simple Sam’s. My sister and I used to walk over the Siesta Key draw bridge to buy treats at the Simple Sam’s.
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Deepak Chopra; we would meet at The Granary
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
I like that the toll booth workers are friendly. I know that sounds silly, but it is something I notice from other places I have lived.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Spending more quality time with my husband. We have both been raising lots of children and busy working for so long. It will nice to calm down a bit then.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I was a commercial fisherwoman in Southeast Alaska for 3 summers, and before that a runway model and a hiphop dancer on MTV living in NYC.
Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
I love November. The weather is the best then here in Florida. Thanksgiving; it is the best day on the calendar to me. Family getting together and even people that are not family, but need a place to feel like home on Thanksgiving.
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Personally I would rate each of my kids as a 10 out of 10. Professionally, I would rate my executive management team at Guaranteed Rate Affinity a 10 out of 10.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My children always inspire me to be better. They are everything.
Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Banana bread in the oven. Freshly mowed grass by my husband.
Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
love —- comfort —- safety